Friday, January 29, 2010

P365 Week 4 and some Layout shares

Here is my Project 365 layout for week 4. I am so excited about how this project is working for me this year. I love assigning a "theme" to my weeks. It is so much easier to scrap the photos when the kind of "go" together. I also wanted to share some layouts I created this week as well as show you the Design House Digital exclusive facebook freebie kit that you can pick up by becoming a fan. Click the image of the super cute kit below to go to the FB page. Below the kit image you can see a page I created using that kit.

(Credits: Design 365: January 31 Day Page Templates By Spencer Nugent, Design 365: January Pack By Spencer Nugent, ESSENTIALS-Stitches v.1 By Carina Gardner, The Day Dreams Collection - Sunset Elements By Meredith Fenwick)

This page I made for the One Kit Four Ways blog post at Design House Digital this week. Using Jen Allyson's Smitten Mini Kit. You can see other layouts using this kit by visiting the blog HERE.

These next two pages are made with new releases at Scrap Orchard this week. New releases are currently on sale so hurry over to pick up the beautiful kits. You can see a list of credits by clicking my layouts below which will take you to my gallery at Scrap Orchard and there you will be able to click on the kit links to go shopping. Thanks for stopping by my blog today and letting me show off my latest creations.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gas, Photography & Music?

On a family vacation to West Yellowstone a while back, we visited a T-Shirt shop. Carson begged me to let him get a shirt with an iron on that said I ♥ to Fart! I decided that I didn't want him wearing that shirt to school and to family dinners - even if the statement is true of him. He is a very gassy boy. He ended up getting this shirt that says Worlds largest source of Natural Gas instead. If I had let him get the other shirt I would have put it on today and taken a picture of myself in it for this post LOL! Carson didn't want to have a photo today when I had him put on his shirt so this was as good as it gets for this post - just a snap shot.

Ok enough of that... So what is the difference between taking a photo or making a picture? When you take photos they would generally be categorized as snapshots - photos that don't have much thought put into them. Something caught your eye and you just started taking pictures. Sometimes, with a little luck, there will be a couple of photos in the lot that you will be happy with. More often though you'll be a bit disappointed, and after a few months when you come back to look at the photos, you may not even remember why you took them in the first place. As I have been browsing some books and the internet regarding photography I was drawn to an article by Ken Rockwell, FARTing: A Key to Creative Photography.

In this article Ken states, "I take my best pictures when I FART first." I'm not to sure the subject of your photo would always appreciate it if you really did fart. Don't worry though, FART is a mnemonic for a creative process.

F: Feel
A: Ask
R: Refine
T: Take

Since the article says it all so very well, I will direct you to it to read more about his advice HERE. I have been trying to think more about the photos I have been making. I find the word "make" instead of "take" interesting in photography. By using the word "make" I find that I think more about what I am photographing and why. So today I encourage you to put more thought into your photography and next time you pull out your camera don't forget to FART.

Oh and one more tid bit I'd like to share about a fun and FREE week-long class coming to Audrey's blog (One of the DHD Designers) in February -- stop by her blog and check out the details. Sounds fun to me!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine Ideas

Ok just a quick post before I head to the kitchen to make dinner. A scrapbook friend, Jenny, has these darling Valentine printables on her blog to share with you if you make a donation to Haiti. I think it is great that she is doing her part to help. Click the image below to head to her blog and check it out.
I thought these mini mailboxes were just too cute. I have checked our Target store and didn't find any of the mailboxes though. I hope that maybe I'll come across some somewhere. To get a look at how to make one click the image below.
And... here are a few printables that are currently available for free download. Cute huh? Again just click them to go to the site and grab them. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Layouts using the One Love kit

So I decided since I have a cold that I needed to just take it easy LOL. Good excuse to just sit on my bed with my laptop and scrapbook. I made these three pages this evening with the gorgeous kit I mentioned in yesterday's post. The kit is One Love. Appropriately I watched a love story while I was scrapping too. Phantom of the Opera. One of my favorites. Hope you all have a great remainder of the weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

P365 Week 3 and some winter photo tips

(Credits: Design 365: January 31 Day Page Templates By Spencer Nugent, Design 365: January Pack By Spencer Nugent, ESSENTIALS-Stitches v.1 By Carina Gardner, The Day Dreams Collection - Sunset Elements By Meredith Fenwick)

This week my Project 365 photo subject was winter. Shooting photos in the winter can be a tricky thing. I found that the bright snow causes my camera to underexpose my photo. The snow often took on a hue of gray. I will be doing some more study of adjusting my white balance on my camera before I head out to the snow to shoot photos again. Here is just one tutorial I found on this subject:
Understanding White Balance.

These two articles give encouragement to get out and shoot some winter photos. I know I often prefer to do outdoor photography in the other three seasons of the year and tend to stay in the house more in the winter. There are plenty of things to photograph indoors where it is warm but I find that after a little reading and looking around on the net I may just get out and try some new things with my photography this winter.
The Beauty of Winter Photography
Dreaming Winter Photography

Now what about those photos that I was mentioning earlier.... the ones where the snow took on a gray color cast. Well... that is when I am happy to have photoshop. I am still and probably always will be in the learning phase about what this program can do.

The first thing I did was added a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. I adjusted my brightness by 30 and set my contrast to 75. When making these adjustments it is a personal preference thing. You have to decide how far to go. If you expose the photo too much you can easily blow out detail. Sometimes I don't mind loosing a little detail if the overall look of the image is improved.
Brightness - How light or dark the picture is.
Contrast - How the brightness is distributed from the lightest to darkest parts of the picture.

Next I added an Exposure adjustment layer. I adjusted my exposure to +10, my offset to -0.0183 and my gama to 1.12 Again this is a to personal taste adjustment.
Exposure – lightens/darkens image.
Offset – adjusts shadow/highlight areas.
Gama – adjusts contrast.

Finally I added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer where the only adjustment that I made was on the saturation slider which I increased by +25.
Hue - the color.
Saturation - how vivid the color is.
Lightness – how dark/light the color is.

If you want a more in depth look at these photoshop adjustments you can see the tutorial Fixing Exposure and Brightness. Although they don't use adjustment layers. They make the changes directly to the image. I prefer to work with layers so that I have the ability to go back into any of these adjustments and further tweak them as I go along. Using layers is what they call "non destructive photo editing." If you choose to work directly on your photo just be sure to never overwrite the original photo but save the edited photo under a different name. You never know when you may change your mind about the way you edited or your photo or when you may learn a new/better way of editing and want to try it again.

Of course how you choose to crop your photo can improve the impact of the photo as well. I like the closer crop of this photo in my Week 3 layout above better than looking at the entire image. To me there is just too much negative space in the upper left hand corner. OK... that is a wrap for me. I can't believe how much time it takes to put something like this together. Makes me appreciate all the great tutorials out there on the net even more. Have a great weekend!

Helping Haiti with a Scrapbooking purchase

Forty-eight designers from around the scrapbooking community have joined together to bring you this incredible kit with the common purpose of raising funds for Haitian aid and relief. The theme, “One Love”, symbolizes not only a heartfelt effort to help the people of Haiti, but also encompasses the diverse styles of all the designers involved in this project. This kit represents the diversity of the community and shows that even though we are all different, when we come together the result is truly spectacular.

The profits from the sale of this kit will be donated to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. We chose the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund not only because it embodies the spirit of One Love, but also 100% of the donations will go to the immediate relief and long-term support to the earthquake survivors. Just take a look at this gorgeous kit, One Love. I for one can not wait to purchase this and scrap with it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Love-ly" Layout shares

It is new release day over at DHD today and there are 26 new kits in the shop today. On release day new products are always 30% off - but just on the new release day so be sure to shop today for the best deal on these wonderful kits! I created a layout using the new release Smitten by Jen Allyson. Aren't these new Valentine's kits LOVE-LY? I am getting so excited for Valentine's Day!

The elements, paper and word art by Audrey Neal called Lovestruck were new releases on Monday this week so they aren't on sale today but I still wanted to show them off and a layout I made using them. If you want to see the paper and word art just click the image below to go to the DHD store and find them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

P365 Week 2

January is just flying by! Here is my week 2 layout. It is all about Clayne since he just celebrated a birthday. I kept the look of the page similar to week 1 so that when I print my book it will coordinate with the page that is next to it. I am currently taking photos of a few subjects since I can't quite decide what I want week 3 theme to be. Right now I am leaning toward a winter theme.

So I did watch the photography class I mentioned in my previous post. It was pretty basic for the first week in the course but I learned things anyway because I need basics lol. I look forward to catching the class in the coming weeks to see what else I can learn. I had a few other things I wanted to post but I have to admit that I have been sucked into a book I am reading. Right now I am reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Last summer I read the first book in the series and have been impatiently waiting for this the second book. The first book is called The Hunger Games. If you are looking for a page turner, you ought to pick it up.

[Credits: Design 365 Seven Photo Masks-Simple By Carina Gardner, Design 365 Color Kit 1 By Carina Gardner, Design 365 A Month of Number Stamps By Carina Gardner, The Day Dreams Collection - Sunset Elements By Meredith Fenwick, The Day Dreams Collection - Sunrise Elements By Meredith Fenwick]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Photography Workshop

So... what are you doing tomorrow? I will be sitting at the computer to learn more about natural light photography. You can too. Just click the image above and then click on the "more info" tab at the top and from that menu click on "live" to view the presentation. No, I don't have any affiliation to Creative Techs but I have viewed many of their lessons on Photo Shop and have found them to be very helpful.

Natural light is both free and valuable. Rosanne Olson tells us about the delights of natural and continuous lighting – how to use what’s already available to you.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Time: 11am Pacific (Seattle) [Other Time Zones]
Duration: 90-120 Minutes
Cost: The LIVE class is FREE to attend!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scrapped a bit

Hope you all had a good weekend. I squeaked in just a little scrap time when I saw Audrey's new kit at DHD. It is on sale today for 30% off - as are all the new releases today. Be sure to go check it out by clicking the kit image below. I am babysitting Meg today so this will be a real short post. Have a wonderful Monday.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I ♥ Faces

One of my goals this year is to improve in my photography & so I decided to join a photography forum and I found a great one over at "i heart faces" I have not had as much time as I would like to go through the forums but I know that over the course of the upcoming year I will be visiting frequently to learn from the wealth of knowledge. They are celebrating their one year anniversary and are having a contest using their logo in your photos. Below you will see my entry. If you want to see more creative logo entries be sure to click on the "i heart faces" logo below.

“I am submitting this photo into the I Heart Faces logo photo contest. By entering, I am granting I Heart Faces LLC permission to consider my photo for use in the marketing and promotion of their website.” - TiffanyB

P365 Week 1

[Credits: Design 365 Seven Photo Masks-Simple By Carina Gardner, Design 365 Color Kit 1 By Carina Gardner, Design 365 A Month of Number Stamps By Carina Gardner, The Day Dreams Collection - Sunset Elements By Meredith Fenwick, The Day Dreams Collection - Sunrise Elements By Meredith Fenwick]

One week down in 2010 and 51 to go! I really can't believe that the first week is already over. Mine went really fast. I didn't get to scrap nearly enough LOL. There are so many wonderful new goodies at both my scrapbook homes Design House Digital and Scrap Orchard. I did however manage to scrap my first layout for P365 which focused on my goals for 2010. It is going to take a lot of organization for me to keep up with all I want to accomplish this year and I just found a wonderful product at DHD that will be so helpful for me. Click the image below to go check it out.

I have decided on my theme for my photos for this next week for P365. Clayne had a birthday a few days ago and I have decided that for a week around the birthday of myself, spouse or one of the kids that I will do a week of photos about them. I already have ideas flowing and am excited to get started. See larger images and more information about this planner at The Project Girl.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Get in the Photo

I wasn't too sure what I would be sharing this week about photography but I did notice a common thread in my photos for P365 this week. As I shared earlier, this week my photos are about my goals for this year. When I started capturing my images for my layout for this week, I noticed the need to photograph myself in many of the photos. I did have Clayne shoot one photo for me but he is usually only home at night and the lighting isn't nearly as good so I was left with the choice of having a friend come over to take my shots, leaving myself out of the shots, or trying out my self timer on my camera. I almost hate to admit that I had never used this feature on my camera and after reading the 4 short steps in my manual on how to use it I knew I had to try it out. I have to say that since I don't own a tripod I had to become pretty creative on how to set up my camera for the shots. Note to self: Pick up a tripod! (I already had decided I wanted to buy one this year but now I for sure want one.)

Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind the idea of getting in the photo was forming after browsing the email I got on Tuesday from They gave 9 interesting ideas for self portraits. One of which was play with mirrors. And I find that I did do this. You can read more of the article HERE. I need to create a creative team layout soon about myself so I will likely be trying more of the ideas to come up with something I like. If you want even more ideas about self portrait photography there is a great article at Digital Photography School. I think one of my photography goals for 2010 has presented itself. I think I'll be getting into more of the pictures - right after I go pick up a tripod.

Ahhh just noticed my photo stamp needs updating with the new year LOL. Guess that is something I'll add to my list of things to do.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Word of the Year

Do you choose a word for the year? Ali Edwards shared her new word for this year on her blog this week & you can go to her blog to find out more about how she started this tradition. She also links up to a Free Download "Word of the Year Discovery tool." from blogger Christine Kane. It's a worksheet for thinking through your word and essentially telling the story of your word.I am going to check this out! I think this will be a good Sunday activity for me tomorrow. Last year I had thought about choosing a word but then I never got around to it - so maybe my word last year was procrastination LOL. I chose a word for this year though. My word for this year is PROGRESS. I know better from years past than to expect perfection in the goals I set for myself each new year. As I stated before, I usually bite off more than I can chew and I get discouraged when I fall short of the goals I wanted to accomplish. I prefer to look at my goals as a work in progress instead. I want to give myself credit for even small steps in the right direction. I think that if I can just look back at the end of the year and see that I have made progress that it should be enough. Here's to a year of progress!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 365 in 2010

Here is my opening page for my album I will be creating this year for Project 365. I used the Journey 365 Jumbo kit by SuzyQ Scraps available at Scrap Orchard. Remember that Scrap Orchard will be back open on January 4 & if I remember right this kit is on sale! The stitching is by Carina Gardner & the template was a freebie from HERE.

Yep... I'm gonna try this again. I learned a few things when I took on Project 365 last year & hope to improve my approach this year. I am not going to beat myself up if every photo is not an awesome photo but I am going to make an effort to do all I can to improve my photography skills this year - well... all I can afford time to do or can find for free on the internet. I know that to take great photos is a big time investment & can also be a big financial investment.

What I hope to do is find at least one good photography tutorial each week (the tutorials I share may be on photo editing too because there is a lot I want to learn there too) and apply what I learn as well as share links to the tutorials when possible. I'm hoping to share what I learn on Thursdays each week on my blog.

So... yes you have probably figured out that one of my goals this year is to improve my photography. Over at Photojojo there is a fun article New Year's Just Ain't New Year's Without Photo Resolutions. In this article they share a list of 22 photo possibilities for the upcoming year. I know there are things on that list that I need to do.

I also plan to just share my Project 365 layouts each week rather than trying to upload my photo each day. If I feel like any of my photos are worthy of being featured outside of a layout I'll post those too. Anyway... I am just hoping to learn more from what I am doing this year. I also want my collection of 7 photos each week to be related in some way instead of completely random. I will have a theme of sorts each week for what I take photos of. This first week will be about my goals for 2010.

I spent some time researching how I wanted to approach Project 365 this year and came across a few things that you may find useful if you are joining in the project yourself this year. I know lasts year I struggled some days finding something worthwhile to photograph & I think these lists will help inspire me.
Creating Keepsakes has this list of 365 ideas to photograph
Carina is heading up the challenge at DHD and has a great list too
And one more list here on the left hand side of the blog

Of course viewing other people's blogs who are participating in the Project will inspire you too. If you are joining in be sure to link me up. I'd love to have a look.

Days of December 30 - 31

Happy New Year everyone! I must say that I am glad to have this "little" scrapbook project done. Here are my last two days of pages. I have to admit that I lost some of my enthusiasm after Christmas Day. I had some fun activities written in my planner for the days following Christmas but I just didn't feel like doing them & I think the kids just wanted down time to play with their Christmas gifts & their friends - so I bagged the ideas I had planned and just ended up filling in these pages with whatever we ended up doing. If I do this project next year - I will be doing it differently but I still am glad I took it on and I will have a wonderful album that records all we did in December. I am less than satisfied with the hat and wordart embellishments I added to yesterday's layout for the New Year's Eve Party but I just wanted to be done. Scrap Orchard is closed until Jan. 4 but then I'll probably end up downloading a New Year's Kit and changing out the embellishments on this page before I print it & put it in my album - for for now I just wanted to be done so I could do something else. I already have a new project underway and want to get it going. I'll show you in my next post. Oh and don't forget that today DHD opened. See my previous post for more information.

Oh and one more thing - even if this is just a note to myself LOL. I thought many of the photo prompts and journaling prompts on the pages I did over this month were fabulous and I didn't always follow them but I did take photos of most of them and will be doing additional pages - not necesarrily following the same design of these pages I have done but where ever my ideas take me - so we'll see what comes of it.